SUMMER holidays abroad are under threat as travel to 'green list' countries could still be blocked by the Foreign Office.

Its advice may contradict the UK's traffic light system, rendering some destinations off-limits – despite being ruled safe.

? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

The Foreign Office publishes its own travel guidance based on factors such as the risk of becoming trapped by Covid restrictions or the capacity and quality of the country's health services, The Times reports.

So in a major blow for locked-down Brits, getaways to European hotspots and beyond hang in the balance.

It is understood most tour operators will refuse to run trips to destinations the Foreign Office deems unsafe.

And holidaymakers run the risk of invalidating their insurance policies if they travel against the office's advice.

The confusion echoes last summer when the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Foreign Office published separate lists for safe overseas travel, with some countries appearing on one but not the other.

Industry leaders and MPs have urged the government ensure overseas travel advice when restrictions lift is crystal clear.


Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, which represents easyJet and British Airways, told The Times that Foreign Office advice on essential travel "should only be in place for destinations where the risk to travellers is unacceptably high".

He added: "Green and amber countries should not be caught up in additional travel advisories as it will cause complexity for customers and impact how many people will be able to travel overseas this summer.

"We need to see alignment between the Foreign Office advice and the traffic light system to provide clarity and transparency to consumers and operators."

A Foreign Office source said: "Travel advice is an independent assessment of the risk [to] Brits travelling aboard. It’s independent, trusted advice and will remain so."

Boris Johnson is poised to lift the ban on people leaving the country for hols from May 17, introducing the traffic light system.

This will put countries on a green, amber or red list depending on the risk they pose in regard to their Covid situation abroad.

As many as 30 holiday destinations could be included on the green list, although the majority of Europe is likely to miss out.

'SAFE' LIST

While anyone travelling from green countries will avoid quarantine, those arriving from amber and red countries will have to quarantine, at home and at a hotel, respectively.

PC Agency's Paul Charles said 'safe' destinations will be determined by the vaccination rollout and new infections.

He said: "As such, it’s highly likely 20-30 countries could be green from the outset."  

For Europe, he says Portugal, Gibraltar and Malta are likely to be the only ones on the list, while popular British hotspots UAE, which includes Dubai, and the Maldives could also make it.

The other countries that could be green include Israel, Barbados, Sri Lanka and Morocco.

However, sources have suggested Brits will be welcomed with open arms to European hotspots this summer thanks to our stonking jabs success.

Spain, Portugal and Greece are leading the push as EU chiefs meet to discuss reopening borders to sunseekers.

Spain is "desperate" to welcome Brits this summer, according to the country's Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes who said he was optimistic that travellers would be able to return by June, depending on discussions with the UK.

A government source said it hoped to lift the ban on international travel to allow football fans to watch games in the postponed Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on June 11.

They said: "It will be great to have fans from other European countries to support their teams."

Here is where you are most likely to be able to go on holiday this year, and where you are not.

    Source: Read Full Article